Wil Orndorff

Wil Orndorff is the Karst Protection Coordinator for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program in the Department of Conservation and Recreation. While he holds a masters degree in Geology from Virginia Tech with emphasis in structural geology and tectonics, his career has led him down an interdisciplinary path that includes hydrology, biology, geomorphology, and analysis of spatial data. Wil’s work involves the use of dye tracing and other methods to characterize karst waters, especially in the context of habitat protection for rare stygobiontic fauna.  He spends significant effort managing and participating in the biological inventory of Virginia’s caves to develop a larger and more representative database on which to prioritize conservation decisions. He also collaborates with mammologists to investigate the use of caves and the broader landscape by cave-associated bat species.  Finally, he spends significant time working with the regulators, developers, consultants, and agencies like the Virginia Cave Board to devise and implement strategies to reduce the impact of human activities on karst resources. Wil contributes to the scientific understanding of these issues through presentations at various professional meetings including the Sinkhole Conference, the Natural Areas Conference, the National Cave and Karst Management Symposium, and the occasional Geological Society of America meeting.  Wil collaborates broadly with academic, agency, and private sector partners, and has authored or co-authored peer-reviewed publications in karst hydrology, ecology of bats, karst geomorphology, and conservation biology. Wil seeks to share and promote the interdisciplinary approaches he has learned and developed through KWI workshops and publications.